‘That’s What It Takes’: How Kobe Bryant Inspired Julius Randle and the Entire Knicks Team

Published 04/12/2021, 10:54 PM EDT
Apr 12, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Andre Drummond (2) knocks the ball away from New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) in the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest players of all time. So when he gave advice, it would have been silly to reject it. New York Knicks star, Julius Randle, not only learnt a lot from him during his time with the Lakers but also passed his learnings on to his team.

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The Knicks faced the Lakers tonight and during the game, the commentator revealed how Kobe gave some invaluable advice to Randle during his Lakers days.

She said, “It was Bryant who taught him whenever you land in the next city for the next game, you hit the gym, you put up shots before you go to the hotel. No matter how late or inconvenient that may be. It’s the game and the work that comes first.”

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Later, she revealed how before a game against the Pistons, Randle landed in a school in Detroit to practice. Although it was late, the school agreed to stay open. When Randle arrived, the athletic director was waiting for him. He told Randle how players never did such a thing anymore. And in fact, the last player to do it was Kobe himself. That made Randle emotional, and he got chills.

New York, N.Y.: Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant flips the ball to movie director Spike Lee who yelled at Bryant the whole second half of the game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks on Sunday Dec. 23, 2007. (Photo by J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday via Getty Images)

Randle passes on the advice from Kobe Bryant to his team

In the end, the commentator spoke about how Randle is incredibly proud that the Knicks have also adopted this approach.

She said, “What he’s most proud of is that that tradition is passed on to the Knicks. So now when he is finding those gyms late at the night, he’s not going alone. He’s going with his Knicks teammate. They’re all doing that work. And it’s all because Kobe taught them that that’s what it takes.”

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Tonight, they used Kobe’s advice to beat his old team. They beat the Lakers by 15 points to get their third straight win. Randle was back to his best after a cold run of games. He scored 34 points while shooting 13-23 from the field. He also had 10 rebounds and four assists to complete a superb performance.

Apr 12, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) is double teamed against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers were in good form, but the Knicks didn’t care and thrashed them. This win helps them to keep the pressure on the Celtics, as they aim to ascend in the Eastern Conference standings.

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Aaron Mathew

1525 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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